Bobby B BADD By Peter Nolan Smith

Gather round my friends
And I’ll tell you a tale.
About a young man no one knew so well.
A drifter dropping off a southbound train.
Happy to be out of Amarillo.

Bobby B BADD

A beat-up black suit covered a scarecrow body.
A hundred and fifty-four pounds soaking wet.
He bent over to a trickling hose
And slicked back crow black hair.

The drifter stretched his bones.
A smile.
A miracle.
The Neon Bar gleamed in the Texas sun.
His tongue tasted a cold Lone Star beer and he strode across the street.
Two things on his mind.

The door of the Neon Bar swung inward.
The few morning drinkers turned to the silhouette.
Strangers were rare this far from the Interstate.
Bobby B BADD slapped a twenty on the zinc bar.

“Drinks for all my friends.”

“You got friends here?”

Bobby pulled open his jacket.

“No gun no knives only a thirst to wash off the taste of train diesel. And, Darling, give me four quarters, please.”

The bartender liked strangers too.
Sheila liked being called Darling even better.

The Neon Bar had a real jukebox.

Real 45s.

Scratchy too.

Dolly Parton JOLEEN.

And like that the town was his.
Every women in town knew his name.
Everyone laughed at his jokes.
They loved his tales of freedom.
Travels from coast to coast,
As he rode the wind

Bobby shot pool like Minnesota Fats
But never gambled a game.
The B Badd hated trouble
But man, that drifter could dance.
Every teenage boys wanted to be like Bobby.
Old men too.

A drifter owing nothing to no one not even himself.

All the young girls came down to the Neon Bar
A quick trip to the alley with Bobby B BADD.
He was kind to them
Never went all the way
Kind to divorcees and cougars too.
Bobby B BADD hated trouble.

After two weeks he packed his bag.

He had almost stayed too long.
People wanted to know more.
And he had no more to give.
Just tales of the wind.

A long train was heading west.
The girls began to cry.
The men at the Neon Bar begged him to stay.
He trotted to the tracks.
“I don’t know when I’ll be back this way.”

Everyone knew the truth.
He waved from a freight car.
Nobody waved back.
And soon Bobby B Badd was gone.

The town ain’t been the same
The boys wear black
With hair slicked back
Playing Bobby B BADD.
But no on could play that part as well
As Bobby B BADD.

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